|Big Time Rush|
|Genre||Teen sitcom / Musical|
|Created by||Scott Fellows|
Carlos Pena Jr.
Stephen Kramer Glickman
|Opening theme||"Big Time Rush" (song)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||20 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Scott Fellows
|Camera setup||Film; Single-camera|
|Running time||approx. 23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Jack Mackie Pictures
|Picture format||480i (SDTV),
|Original run||November 28, 2009
(as a special preview)|
January 18, 2010 (as a regular series) – present
|Status||New series (In production)|
Big Time Rush is a Nickelodeon television program about four teenage male friends who form a successful boy band and become a pop music sensation. The boys move to Hollywood, accompanied by Kendall's mother (who is trying to get her daughter a career in entertainment as well), where they have various humorous adventures. The series stars Kendall Schmidt, James Maslow, Carlos Pena Jr., Logan Henderson, Stephen Kramer Glickman, and Ciara Bravo. It has been announced in a Nick press conference on March 12,2010 that the show has been renewed for a 20 episode second season which will begin production in June.
Four hockey friends from Minnesota — Kendall Knight (Kendall Schmidt), James Diamond (James Maslow), Carlos Garcia (Carlos Pena Jr.), and Logan Mitchell (Logan Henderson) — successfully try out to be the "next great boy band." They move to California, where they attend Palm Woods School, a special school just for actors, singers, and other performers. The boys routinely come into conflict with their overbearing, outrageous, hard-driving (but successful) boy band manager, Gustavo Rocque (Stephen Kramer Glickman), and his well-meaning assistant Kelly (Tanya Chisholm), while trying to impress Gustavo's boss, Griffin (Matt Riedy), so that they can become successful, and so far, so good.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Knight (Challen Cates) helps keep the boys in line while trying to get her long-suffering daughter, Katie (Ciara Bravo), an acting or singing career as well. The four teens are also regularly seen with and helping a young boy, Tyler (Tucker Albrizzi), who has a mother obsessed with his acting career, as they also have many incidents in which they impress or hang out with a rad teenager at the Palm Woods named Guitar Dude (Barnett O'Hara). They also repeatedly and unsuccessfully attempt to get dates with the large number of young women, including the Jennifers (Denyse Tontz, Spencer Locke, and Savannah Jayde), who also attend their school. The show is on Nickelodeon, and new episodes premiere usually every Friday night at 8:30/7:30c.
A soundtrack compiled of music from Season 1 will be released Fall 2010.
The series was conceived and created by Scott Fellows, formerly the creator, executive producer and showrunner of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Fellows says his inspiration for the show was the 1960s musical comedy show, The Monkees—a popular and culturally significant American television series about a group of four young male adults who form a rock band, become famous, and sing songs while having comedic adventures. Although the show had a concept as early as 2007, the series had no actual title as late as August 2009.
Nickelodeon partnered with Columbia/Epic Label Group to produce the show, which will incorporate original music into the series. Big Time Rush is one of three Nickelodeon shows (the others are iCarly and the forthcoming Victorious) on which the cable network is partnering with the music group to promote music as well as shows. The four actors will sing in a band whose name will be "Big Time Rush." The first single from the show, "Big Time Rush" (the series theme song), was released in November 2009. Additional songs will be released throughout the show's first season. The Los Angeles Times has been critical of the show's focus on music, noting:
|“||There is a marketing angle, to be sure, the same crossing of the revenue streams that powers "Hannah Montana" and "American Idol" and "Glee," and whose conceptual forerunner was "The Monkees"—television shows that function as elaborate advertisements for music that in turn advertises the TV show. "Big Time Rush," which has more than a little of "The Monkees" in its makeup, was developed with Sony Music specifically to move units.||”|
A nationwide casting effort began in 2007. More than 1,500 teens and young adults auditioned for the four roles. Kendall Schmidt was the last actor cast, and the most difficult role to cast. Filming of the series began in August 2009. Actor Carlos Pena Jr. previously worked with creator/producer Scott Fellows on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Although he was reluctant to do so (he had just entered the Boston Conservatory to study music), Pena submitted an audition tape and won the role a month later. Executive Producer Scott Fellows was inspired to write each character by the personality of the actor playing him.
The show incorporates cartoon-like noises, music, and editing cuts designed to make it more humorous, this was also a trademark of series creator Scott Fellows' previous Nickelodeon series Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. It is targeted primarily at children age 6 to 14.
A one-hour special preview (which serves as the series pilot and first episode) premiered on Nickelodeon on November 28, 2009. That airing was watched by 3.5 million viewers. The series officially debuted on on January 18, 2010. It was watched by 6.8 million total viewers, making it the highest-rated live-action show premiere in Nickelodeon history. Approximately twice as many viewers watched Nickelodeon during that half-hour as did a year earlier.
Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd called the show "hyperactive and mostly charming," although he noted that the "music is incidental" (which might disappoint some viewers). The Associated Press said the show had "a comic-caper style, rousing spirit and snippets of music and dance," and concluded it was an "engaging romp that should tickle the network's core audience...plus many parents." AP critic Frazier Moore also credited the show with "sharp writing and snappy pacing". Reporter Maxine Shen of the New York Post declared, "The guys are adorable and full of a genuine camaraderie that comes across on the small screen and carries over to real life."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was slightly less enthusiastic, concluding the show was "Nick's attempt at building a Jonas Brothers-style pop band. It's Nick's answer to Disney Channel's "JONAS," albeit slightly less organic since "Rush" doesn't feature siblings." The Hartford Courant was openly critical, calling the series a "copycat" show "with their own thin pop and unfunny comedies." The Boston Globe criticized the show as "one example in a growing list of kid shows selling showbiz fantasies to children. The genre is stronger than ever now and more fixated on the perks of the glamorous Hollywood lifestyle ... wish fulfillment at a time when tabloid dreams are ubiquitous."
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